On March 20th, we will welcome the first day of spring and MeatOut 2022. For over 35 years, vegans worldwide have promoted compassionate food choices through MeatOut by challenging everyone they know to go meatless for one day with the Meatout Challenge.
Historically participants have held film screenings, meetups, or potlucks. Cooking demonstrations and vegan food samples at these events have offered many people their first taste of the vegan menu. Since its inception in 1985 by Farm Animal Rights Movement, over 35 million Americans have explored a plant-based diet and reduced their consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs. Food manufacturers and national franchises also offer more vegan options in response to this growing demand.
There are three main reasons a vegan diet is better than the typical S.A.D (Standard American Diet) model.
The first reason is that vegan diets improve health and prevent disease. Eating a plant-based diet has also been shown to reduce cholesterol and lower blood pressure for some people in as little as two weeks. It is also easier to maintain a healthy weight, decreasing health risks. A healthy vegan diet promotes health and reduces the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, chronic diseases and cancers that kill millions of humans each year.
Beyond our health, a plant-based diet is also much easier on the environment than a meat-based diet. “Animal agriculture is the leading contributor of methane and nitrous oxide, two greenhouse gases that are far more powerful than carbon dioxide emissions.” A plant-based diet uses significantly less water and causes much less pollution.
Animal agriculture also contributes to the clear-cutting and burning of precious land and rainforests to create pastures. “This is a major loss, because trees provide wildlife habitats, keep topsoil in place, replenish groundwater aquifers, absorb carbon dioxide, and stabilize climate.” Once the land is no longer useful as pasture, it is turned into animal feed croplands. Croplands provide little plant growth to hold fertile topsoil in place, and the ground is ultimately left barren and useless.
And last but certainly not least, there are the animals, the sentient beings whose lives are stolen to put meat on the plates of people worldwide. Over 10 billion animals are slaughtered every year in the U.S. alone. Many people prefer to put on blinders when it comes to these animals’ short & horrific lives. It is easy to pretend that animals are treated well and “killed humanely.” People prefer to accept the meat industry’s claims that their practices are humane. But, what can be humane about murder? These animals do not willingly offer themselves up as sacrifices for our dinner. They are never given a choice. It is the job of empathetic humans to speak for these beings who cannot speak for or defend themselves.
“An individual who commits to eating a vegan diet for just one day would spare the life of .5 animals, preserve 148 square feet of rainforest, and save 3,700 gallons of water.” March 20th, 2022, has been proclaimed “MeatOut Day” in numerous cities, states, and countries as residents are urged to skip the meat and explore vegetarian and vegan options. MeatOut day is a perfect time to try delicious meat and cheese alternatives. New plant-based products are added to the market every day, and any vegan would be happy to share their favorites with you.
“There are few benefits of eating animals other than fueling an industry that generates profits from promoting devastating illnesses, environmental destruction and the exploitation of sentient beings. As for local businesses and restaurants, MeatOut Day is if anything an opportunity to showcase a variety of options and versatility in adapting to a changing world.”
A shift from meat-based to plant-based is inevitable. Ultimately, going vegan is the best option for our health, planet, and animals. Make a plan for MeatOut 2022 and make a difference for the billions of animals who suffer and die each year in the animal agriculture and dairy industries.